Running the Rat Race

Monday morning.

Alarm sounds. You pressed the snooze button several times before finally deciding to wake up at 5am, 30mins after your initial alarm.

You drink your first of many cups of coffee for the day.

You entered the shower room and stood under the flowing water above your head, wondering about different scenarios. What could have been if I chose this over that?

What could have been… Such a sad phrase.

You dressed up for work. You wore that uncomfortable sleeves, pants that barely fit, and the black shoes desperately waiting to be replaced.

You rode the jeepney. The next is the bus, followed by the van. Three rides going to the office asking yourself, how much time was wasted in traffic?

You arrived at the office 10mins late. Drenched in sweat. You sat in your cubicle while starting up your computer and counting the hours before you can go home.

You went to the pantry. Got that free cup of coffee. Second of many.

You sit on your desk, doing the usual routine of looking busy. Opening another site in your browser and quickly pressing the alt+tab button just as your supervisor passed you.

Lunchtime. A time to talk with your colleagues. Asking how they spent their weekends. Only to find out that you were all doing the same. Watching movies, surfing the internet, washing clothes, and sleeping. Nothing productive there.

One hour after lunch, you grab another cup of coffee. To give you that aroma and warmth. The feeling of a hug to keep you awake for the rest of the day.

Another four hours of work, if lucky. Additional working hours, if not.

You finally stood out of your chair for the last time during the day. And bid farewell to your officemate that is still busy with the workload given to him as a gift for taking two days off.

You stand in line waiting for the jeepney, the van, the bus, or the train. Everywhere you go, you have to stand and wait in line.

You finally arrived at home at 8 o’clock in the evening. You eat dinner in your favorite fast-food restaurant before retiring to bed.

You watched a couple of episodes, scrolled down in your favorite social media before finally falling asleep at 12 midnight.

What an exhausting day, you told yourself. Only to repeat it over again for the next four days before resting on the weekend.

The only motivation to work is that salary given once or twice a month. Packaged with fifteen paid time offs during the year.

You spend your next salary today. Confident that you will always have another after a few days.

Welcome to the Rat Race.

A competition wherein most players eventually lose—a never-ending pursuit.

So the question you should answer is, “what can you do?” 

The rat race is perennial if you let it take control of your life.

You need to find that passion everyone is talking about. Realize that the world can be as small or as large as you let it be. Trust in God’s plan that everything will eventually fall into place.

Start a hobby. Pick up that guitar you always played when you were younger. Or maybe start writing a blog.

Travel. Discover what snow feels like. Or, personally, capture that cherry blossoms in your hand.

Interact with people. Join the club that you’ve always been curious about. Or maybe contact your high school friends and see what they are up to these days.

Get your finances together. Start by having a budget before learning to invest.

Read a book. Realize that Harry Potter is much much better in writing. Or, know that C.S Lewis is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.

Volunteer. See the world from an entirely new perspective. And realize that you have more than what you thought.

Run. Feel the breath of fresh air in a city full of negativity.

There are many things that you can do in this world. Something that at the end of the day, you can just stand and stare at the finished product and have the confidence to declare that “this is truly worthwhile.”

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